India’s finance minister: India will ban electronic cigarettes altogether

India’s finance minister, Sitharaman, said he would ban the production, manufacture, import and export, transport, sale, storage and advertising of electronic cigarettes in India, according to the website of New Delhi Television on September 18th.

Sitharaman said that considering the impact of e-cigarettes on people’s health, especially on the health of adolescents, a comprehensive ban on e-cigarettes would be enacted. Speaking of the hazards of electronic cigarettes, Sitaraman quoted US data as saying that the use of electronic cigarettes among school students in the United States increased by 77.8%, and surprisingly, the proportion of middle school students smoking electronic cigarettes increased by 48.5%. Currently, nearly 3 million people in the United States regularly smoke e e e-cigarettes, a nine-fold increase compared with the data from 2011 to 2016. Over 100 million smokers in India, making it the world’s second largest smoking country, and the ban on e-cigarettes is also aimed at controlling the growth of potential smokers.

Respiratory diseases caused by electronic cigarettes have increased dramatically, and related deaths are also frequently reported in the media. At present, many countries are considering banning electronic cigarettes. New York State has become the first place in the United States to issue a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.

Battle between the 2 ministries on vape import in India

According to a memorandum issued by Reuters, India Ministry of Commerce and Industry said there was no legal basis for banning imports of electronic cigarettes by India Directorate General of Health Services, Inc42 Media reported.

In February 2019, the DGHS issued an order banning the sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, import and advertising of electronic cigarettes and vapes.

DGHS also advised states and government agencies to step up efforts to stop the sale and import of such products, warning the vapes have huge health risks.

India Ministry of Commerce and Industry objects the decision of DGHS firmly after the order was issued.

Currently, India has 120 million smokers and 1 million people die from tobacco-related diseases every year. Lack of public health care and its annual economic losses exceed 1 billion rupees ($14 billion) due to the pure health burden of smoking in the country.